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November 30th 2010

The Lady Killer - Cee Lo Green
 
Written by Imran Mirza

The ridiculously prolific Cee Lo Green returns with his hugely overdue third solo outing 'The Lady Killer'.  For me, the most exciting aspect of this release since its announcement has always been … What’s he going to do?  The simple fact is, Cee Lo can do pretty much anything he wants - establishing himself as a part of the Dungeon Family through fierce fellow rhymesayers Goodie Mob, he then went on to make even greater commercial and critical waves as the vocalist who remembered when, remembered when he lost his miiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnd as one-half of the alternative duo, Gnarls Barkley, with super producer, Danger Mouse.

So along with all of these credentials and creative outlets, 'The Lady Killer' was either going to be a supreme balancing act between these different styles, personas and genres, or he'd have to shirk some of these expectations and create a more focused record - which he does as he brings his gloriously soulfully smooth butter-like vocal to the forefront and romances the ladies as he returns to Cee Lo Green... The Soul Machine.

I think what strikes you most upon completion of the first front-to-back listen of the album is almost how restrained he is: 'F--k You' as an introductory song seemed to retain Green's characteristic wit but is probably slightly misleading from what you might expect from the album based upon this song alone.  By no means is this meant to sound as a criticism - a mature soul record from Cee Lo is certainly not something that any fan could turn their nose up to, but from the flashes of sheer brilliance evident on the prelude to this release, the online mixtape 'Stray Bullets', expectations were probably high for a more eclectic listen.

'The Lady Killer' hits hard on all cylinders and standouts include the excellent 'I Want You' (produced by friend and frequent collaborator, Jack Splash), 'Bodies', 'Wildflower' and follow-up single, 'Bright Lights, Bigger City'.  The songs play to Cee Lo's strengths - big powerful belting numbers displaying his own sly, seductive and charming self as only Cee Lo can.  Personnel on the record include man-of-the-moment Bruno Mars, along with his production team The Smeezingtons on the aforementioned lead single, Jack Splash, who disappointingly is only relegated to two songs, and Salaam Remi who deserves special mention for his contribution garnering credits on many of the album's songs from production to instrumentation throughout.

I don't think Cee Lo could make a bad record if he tried and this is a testament to that and another one to throw on top of the ever expanding discography.  But if you're asking me if I think he can make a 'better' record than this?  I'd have to say that I think he can.


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